The Catechism of the Church teaches us in its first lines that God “calls together all men, scattered and divided by sin, into the unity of his family, the Church” (CCC, Prologue, I.1).
God created mankind to be “His family’ but sin scattered His children and at present God is once more gathering them together through the Church, the very own Body of the Christ Who was sent to mankind. In this context, one can spotlight the importance and reality of the Church, the family of God. The Catechism also teaches us that, “to accomplish this, when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son as Redeemer and Savior. In his Son and through him, he invites men to become, in the Holy Spirit, his adopted children and thus heirs of his blessed life” (CCC-Prologue I.1).
It is necessary to analyze these words attentively. It is through His Son that the Father rebuilds the communion between He and mankind. The Son becomes Church (the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ). We enter this Body through Baptism and we become adoptive children of God through the Holy Spirit; consequently, we are again heirs of God’s blissful life; that joyful life sin had canceled. By doing so, we can go back to Paradise.
This is the glorious history of our salvation that will be accomplished by the Church, when She is completely glorified in God. This is the reason why Saint Augustine said that:
“The Church is the reconciled world.”
Nothing is more important than knowing, loving and serving the Church with all our strength. She is Christ’s Wife and He loves Her with eternal love. He suffered Passion and shed His blood for Her. He loves Her like a passionate Husband:
“Husbands, love your wives even as Christ loved the church and handed Himself over for her” (The Letter to the Ephesians 5, 25).
These words express Jesus’ deep love for “His” Church.
Pope Paul IV, who immensely loved the Church, referred to Her like that:
“The Church! She is our constant love, our primeval solicitude and our fixed idea! … Those who do not love the Church do not love the Christ; and we do not love the Church if we do not love Her like the Lord has loved: “Christ loved the church and handed Himself over for her” (The Letter to the Ephesians 5, 25).
We can go even further and say: if you do not know the Church, you do not know the Christ; if you do not serve the Church, you do not serve the Christ; if you do not obey the Church, you do not obey the Christ; if you do not subject yourself to the Church, you do not subject yourself to the Christ; if you are not in the truth of the Church, you are not in the truth of the Christ…
Vatican Council II called Her “Lumen Gentium”, “The Light of the Nations”, because Her Light is the same Light of Jesus Christ.
Prof Felipe Aquino
Professor Felipe Aquino is a widower, father of five children. On TV Canção Nova he presents the program “Escola da Fé” [School of faith] and “Pergunte e Responderemos” [Ask and respond], on Radio he presents the program “in the heart of the Church”. On weekends he preaches deepening meetings throughout Brazil and abroad. He wrote 73 books of Catholic background by publishers, Loyola and Cleopas and Canção Nova. His teacher’s page:www.cleofas.com.br Twitter: @pfelipeaquino